Notes by Nils Teufel from Field Trip group 2

21 September 2011




1 Village location
• Mason village near Nainbagh bazaar, Tehri district
• N30.5662; E78.0504, 1211m
• On tarmac side road, 5km from main road passing through Nainbagh towards Yamnotri

2 Interview setting
• Three farmers at individual farm house next to road
• Households in this village migrate during the year, living in houses near their fields during summer and moving to the central village in winter.
• The three farmers come from different villages. We settled for the (sub?) village (Koti) of the farmer in whose house we were sitting.

3 Village characterisation
• Total households: 30hh; 7hh <2ac (SC), 23hh>2ac; no landless
• Livestock distribution, small farmers: 5 large ruminants (4hh); 10 small ruminants (2hh)
• Large farmers: 100 local cattle, 50 buffalo (23hh); 100 goats (10hh) 20 sheep (5hh)
• 5 years ago these hh were keeping 350 local cattle and 60 buffalo (reasons: children go to school, farm sizes have reduced because of splitting families)
• Total cultivable private land: 350ac; 75% actually cultivated, rest is used for grass collection (probably previously used terraces)
• Communal village land: 700ac, mainly grass, some trees
• Village have access to reserved forest for collection of leaves (and grasses?)

4 Some prices
• Land rent: not available; 5 hh taking land on share basis (50%)
• Land purchase: Rs 10000/ac (rainfed, terraced, two crops
• Daily wage: 200-250Rs/d (NREGA 120Rs/d)
• Manure: 0.50 Rs/kg (quality?)
• Urea 6Rs/kg; DAP 11Rs/kg
• Milk: 13Rs/l (but with considerable adulteration)
• Concentrate is available in market (14Rs/kg?) but nobody uses it.
• Wheat bran: 8Rs/kg (in Vikasnagar)
• Livestock: Local cattle: 1500Rs; buff 30 000Rs (giving 5-6 l milk/d); bullock 9000Rs; goat 3000Rs
• Paddy 7.5Rs/kg
• Ragi (finger millet) 5.5Rs/kg
• All crop residues (paddy, ragi) & dried grass: 250-300 Rs/160kg (4 backloads@40kg)
• Credit interest rates: Bank 12%, subsidised bank credit: 4%; money lender 60%

5 Livestock uses
• Manure is important
• But 50% of milk is sold (only started within last 5 years, before selling only ghee (was not possible to estimate how much milk was sold as ghee

6 Markets
• Milk buyers in bazaar, milk federation, arrived 2 y ago; 4 local buyers, also come to home
• 7-8 families are selling fodder out of village. Also some buying into village, but only occasionally
• 15% hh have taken credit for buying livestock
• Wheat bran (only purchased concentrate) in Vikasnagar (1.5h distance), visited every 2 months, also to buy salt

7 Livestock feeding
• Sources: 25% crop residues (paddy, wheat, fingermillet, maize ..), 25% private trees & grassland; 25% communal grassland; 25% forest land (seems a bit to equally distributed)
• 3 hh feed home-made concentrates (1-2kg/d to lactating animals) based on soybean, maize, wheat, fingermillet, sorghum (varying by season)
• Buffs are only fed by cut & carry
• Cattle go out for grazing on communal lands (throughout the year) no herding anymore, but in monsoon they get taking to a pasture in another area; in winter (3 months) they also get dried grass (4kg/d).
• All of the paddy straw is fed (they also have bhusa we later found out)
• Residues are generally fed long only sometimes fed after cutting manually.
• Feeding of wheat bran started 3 y ago when milk selling started. Heard from other farmers that it helps with milk yield.

8 Livestock intensification
• No cross-breds are being kept (low fodder quality, no concetrates), but AI has arrived 2-3y ago (from paravet)
• Goat off-take rate: 20-30%

9 Mechanisation, infrastructure
• No tractors
• No threshers, cereals are threshed by driving animals over the harvested material
• Electricity
• Our farmer had installed drip irrigation for vegetables
• Fodder choppers have been given to 15hh (at 25% subsidy) 4-5y ago by local NGO (GVK)

10 Capacity, extension
• Extension contacts: visit to/by vet clinic 1/year – no information on feeding
• Local NGO (Garawal Vikas Kendra) avg weekly
• Previously watershed development programme (World Bank) was also active in the area; also had livestock activities: mangers, chaff cutters, cattle sheds, animal health camps

11 Social indicators
• Education: Adults male: 5y school, females 0y school, young male: 11y, female 8-10y)
• Female labour: feeding 50%, milking 50%, grasscutting 70%, leaves cutting 70%, ploughing 0%, seeding 50%, weeding 50%, harvesting 50%
• Livestock ownership: jointly, income decisions: jointly
• Openness to change: Napier has successfully been introduced on bunds; hh moving to orchards (and vegetables?)
• Any changes in feeding? No, but – 30%hh have changed something: e.g. mineral mixture, napier grass, chopper
• Hh with mobiles: 100% (internet available in bazaar)
• Group member ship: 1 group in village, 19 hh are members, mainly for savings

12 Ranking of feed issues
• Mason: biomass 3, quality 2, seasonality (winter) 1
• Lady: quality 1
• GVK representative: quality (in winter): 1

13 Some reflections (Nils, 27/09/2011)
• Focusing on general indicators (wage to land, milk to concentrate etc) gave good idea on drivers and constraints (water was missed).
• But farming system details were missing (cropping pattern, herd structure, feed composition, income sources). FEAST would have provided this information, but for stand-alone tool more of these systems characteristics should be included.
• Quantifying contribution and management of common resources (e.g. grazing, grass/leaf collection) was difficult. More experience in asking efficient required.
• Phrasing of questions has to validated (wheat bran was not reported initially because farmers understood "concentrates" as compound feed only.
• More insight into labour and decision structures would be useful (e.g. who would decide on improving grass productivity on abandoned terraces).
• Ranking of feed issues did not give conclusive results; it appeared that the concept of constraining issues is too abstract. But the ranking could be derived from the quantitative results: share of crop residues in feed indicates nutrient density, length of shortage period indicates whether biomass scarcity or seasonality are more serious constraints.